Tabletop Spotlight: Runewars Miniature Game

Runewars Miniatures Game is in stores now! Are you ready for battle?

Our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy have their shipment of Runewars Miniatures Game – which means FLGS around the US have them too! Will you answer the call and defend the realm or will you join the ranks of the fallen…

Here at BoLS we’ve been covering Runewars a LOT – it’s a fantastic new release and it has the full weight of the FFG machine behind it. There’s not much use for us to say at this point. We’ve checked out the models, shown off a demo, and we’re waiting for the new Latari Elves, too. At this point, it’s all about getting our miniatures tabletop ready and getting some more games in.

Check out the Painting Guide from FFG HERE.

In the coming weeks as the community at large gets their hands on copies of this game I’m sure we’ll start to see more trends emerge. I’m curious to hear everyone else’s take on this game play. Here at BoLS we’re digging the ruleset and the maneuvering. If you like the movement of X-Wing or Armada, you’ll appreciate this game’s too. I think the maneuvering is what separates the good players from the great players. It’s a real skill to develop, and once you get that down, then you’ve got the poker-esq type game of deducing your opponent’s moves. Like an onion, this game has some layers.

Core Set Contents – Runewars Miniatures Game

Fantasy Flight Games is going to be supporting the game for a long time. We already know they have plans for Organized Plan, more units, and more armies planned. This game has some legs on it and FFG is going to take it for a walk for sure!

Latari Elves Expansion Contents

If you’ve got a hunger for Rank-and-File miniatures combat and you’re looking for a new game to devour then Runewars Miniatures Game is ready for you. It’s time to step-up to the plate and dig in!


Runewars Miniatures Game $99.95

For years, the armies of Waiqar the Undying have stayed within their borders, launching only minor raids across the border. But now, a nameless threat stirs within the Mistlands, and legions of undead cross into the realm of Terrinoth under Waiqar’s command! The Daqan Lords have sounded the call to war, and their finest generals lead armies of warriors and golems to take up defensive positions in the border territory of Roth’s Vale. The first battles of the next great war are about to begin. 

RuneWars: The Miniatures Game is a two-player miniatures game of battles between the great powers of Terrinoth. In each game, you and your opponent will gather armies of miniatures and lead them into battle—blocks of infantry will maneuver for position, cavalry wings will wheel and slam into a weakened flank, and monstrous rune golems or carrion lancers will smash through formations of lesser warriors. Innovative command tools, two distinct factions, and countless ways to customize your experience combine to offer an unparalleled miniatures gaming experience in RuneWars. Finally, with forty-eight beautifully sculpted, unpainted figures, you’ll be able to paint and customize your armies to bring an entirely unique touch to your games and enter the hobby of miniatures painting!


What faction are you choosing? Or are you holding out for the elves?

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    looks alright. Minis a bit generic though.

    • ZeeLobby

      It’s a godsend for someone who likes old fantasy though, and ranked combat. Really been missing it and KoW and others just didn’t fit the bill, this looks pretty good in that regard.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        For me, its not old fantasy.

        It looks far too video gamey and I’m afraid, a bit childish to capture the good old days of WHFB.

        The GoT war game might be good though.

        Edit: Only talking about looks, game is fine, bit meh.

        • ZeeLobby

          yeah, changed it, meant low fantasy. And video gamey is just the way they studio painted it. Check this dude out, he’s done a good job on the two minis he’s done so far:

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            That’s a much better paint job!

            I think it just needs a touch of medieval weirdness that Blanche might come up with.

            Its also a shame to see them use the old fantasy tropes.

            Would have been nice to bring it up to date.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. True about blanche. They’d definitely fit well in Army of Darkness, which I kind of like. And yeah. Fantasy tropes can get old, at the same time Mantic’s take on them is pretty horrible, GW doesn’t really do that anymore, and WMH is more steampunk than anything else. So there’s definitely a spot there.

            Plus I think it’s a safe bet. I mean Wrath of Kings is a fun game, but most people I know are just turned off by the factions.

          • Hawt Dawg

            And the model quality or lack of.

            The models I saw in the store actually made my old Warjacks look good.

          • ZeeLobby

            Personal preference I guess. I like them better than most WMH models. A lot of WMH looks super static. The skeleton bowmen are actually all in different phases of shooting.

          • Hawt Dawg

            I do not mean the looks, cause that is like a split behind, Eye of the Beholder and all that.

            I am talking quality. The Rune War box I saw had models looking like they were more Board Game quality than actual Wargame.

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah. I got you. Yeah. I mean it’s definitely the same plastic they’ve used for their board games. Still a preferable material over finecast. And honestly way way less flash and missprints than some PP units I’ve opened. IMO ofcourse. If you watch the sorastro vid I posted elsewhere here, I still think you can get tabletop quality above and beyond many painted mantic sculpts though.

          • Hawt Dawg

            Finecast? I haven’t seen a finecast model in any store in ages or a new release for that matter. Let that old lament just die.

            As for PP’s older plastic kits, if you can even call them plastic, they are horrific. I am still not getting over how much I have cursed trimming that crap.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean I’m not forming some attack on finecast or something, so calm down. just stating that many people were OK with that as a material, and it was just downright awful imo. (That said, there are still finecast boxes at my local store, so it’s not like it doesn’t exist, as much as we as a community try to pretend those days are over)

            And yeah PP’s old stuff was bad. But their new stuff is still bad. I haven’t even assembled a unit of stormblades cause of how bad it is. I should probably get PP to send me new ones, just haven’t taken the time. And I just bought that a couple months ago. It could just be their QC, cause I’ve seen some decent ones, or maybe some of their molds just have issues.

            But after having opened and assembled two Runewars starter boxes, there’s definitely still worse materials out there, and at a higher price to boot. Almost no mold lines and no major defects. It’s lacking uber-sharp details (which honestly most of PP’s line still lacks), but it can still be painted to a great tabletop standard imo.

        • ZeeLobby

          My problem with GoT is that it’s set at the same time, and with the same characters. It’s just too much like play along with the movie rather than create your own unique forces.

          • euansmith
          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. To be honest a lot of people who were hardcore GoT fans around here are now kind of like… meh. I mean they’ll watch the final two seasons, and probably read the book/s if/when they’re finished, but his delay in writing them, and the kind of repetitive nature of the latest ones have definitely left people looking elsewhere, at least around here. Because of that, most people I thought would be super excited for a tabletop game were kind of like, meh.

          • euansmith

            Really there are already a bunch of GoT games available; LoTR, Saga, Song of [noun] and [nouns], etc.

  • When FFG loses their boner for a billion counters and templates, I’ll give it a better look.

    • ZeeLobby

      it’s just another way to book keep. Once people stop letting counters enrage them they have a pretty good time.

      • There are using some counters, and then there is FFG’s hyper-counter games.

        I can’t stand that many counters. It clutters the table, looks bad, requires a larger storage footprint and then it also lengthens setup and teardown.

        I saw a demo of the game as well and wasn’t too impressed. Thats my own opinion though. Not impressed enough to want to collect another game and paint more miniatures where we likely will have a negligible player base anyway.

        It has a long way to go before Kings of War gets supplanted as the regional fantasy tournament game anyway.

        That could change if they start hosting world championships with mega prizes of course.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. Guess it depends on region. KoW simply doesn’t exist here. And all 10 Runewars starters sold out day one. Most played X-Wing before, and you know FFG is going to do a much bigger/better job with organized play and support. So we’ll see, but I quickly see this overshadowing all the other ranked alternatives.

          • I was mistaken. Our tournament heavy store where all the pro-gamers play all went in on it and are banking on it dominating the region as well due to FFG having a world championship title and ranking system.

          • ZeeLobby

            Wow, really? People are excited here, but we have a pretty varied mix of competitive and narrative players. Most people were just excited for the local events our store was planning, haha.

          • There is a lot of GW-hate here so anything that they can do that will put GW out of business they will latch on to.

            Also with FFG doing xwing world titles, the guys here that dream of a pro-circuit that miss fantasy jumped right on it.

            For what its worth I picked up a starter box as well now but I’m going to wait to see how bent the game is first before i waste time painting models I’ll never use because they aren’t “optimal”.

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah, true. I mean I’m sure in the competitive echelons there will be some clear winners and losers. Luckily FFG has been able to introduce upgrades later in the game cycle that suddenly makes what used to be horrible units playable, though maybe not top tier. Have to admit, I’m pretty excited to have a fantasy replacement, even if the models aren’t as pretty as GW’s originally were. I imagine the local here will be a mix of for fun games and competition. It’s been that way with literally every other game. People here just like solid rulesets over anything else.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I have to wonder if X wing players (who haven’t previously played wargames) will give rune wars a go, then move onto Warhammer or Warmachine if they enjoy painting and mass army combat.

          • ZeeLobby

            My guess would be maybe Warmachine, at least locally. My local meta really likes tight rulesets, hence GW games tend to be the low bar that they compare most games to. I mean maybe with General’s Handbook 2 there might be new interest in GW systems (or if they finally fix 40K in 8th). Many purely X-Wing players I know really like the game system and it’s structure. I’m not sure they’d sacrifice that for what to them would be little gain.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Its more of a reverse in the UK. Seems to be people loving the theme over anything.

            Potentially different, less competitive culture, More pubby atmosphere, less pick up games than in the US.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. Pickup games are almost dead here in my area of the US. I’d argue that you could still have strong theme and tight rules, and make everyone happy, but there’s no direct correlation between that and profits in such a niche hobby. A lot of it depends on local metas and what they play, and what’s the “in” thing to play, etc.

            I mean the funny thing is WMH, which is considered to be he like uber-competitive system at the moment, is something I play often in a narrative setting while drinking with friends. It’s not like it prohibits that from happening, whereas poor rules definitely make competition suffer.

          • I have a Cryx army. If I had narrative players to play with I’d love playing WM. However in my area it is 100% WAAC smash your balls play.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. That’s rough, haha. I mean I like playing WAAC and narrative, but it’s sometimes hard to get my whole group to swing one way or another for a day. Many times it just ends up being one smash face game next to a ridiculously fluffy one. It works… kinda…

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Funny thing is, same for me. I end up having more fun playing WMH competitive as it just.. flows better that way? As we are all forced to play that way I guess? That and everything has a purpose and its objective based. I also will fight almost to the bitter end as there always seems to be a chance if my opponent leaves an opening. Where as in 40k, by turn three I know exactly how it will end bar dice just going nuts, and can concede.

          • ZeeLobby

            yeah, the crazy thing is I fondly remember fighting til turn 5 continuation rolls back in 5th edition. Those games were the best, and I hope they can bring those back in 8th.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I guess its whether the rules encourage narrative play.

            I mean, I can play a chess game narratively, but it is hardly going to be as enjoyable as mordheim.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean I guess? I don’t really understand why any ruleset would prevent narrative play. You can always change rules, or add events, as you like with any ruleset. What’s much harder to do is take a purely narrative open ruleset and then try to have a competitive game with it. I mean there was always the option to run unbound, or heck, just run whatever you wanted, with whatever allies you wanted, even back in 5th edition. You just had to agree with your opponent. I’ve played WMH games where a bridge is collapsing beneath the battle as you play, and units randomly take damage from falling debris. It’s not like there’s anything in the core rules for that, but it’s easy to add, and on top of a solid ruleset, is still a fun and close game.

            There’s some like false community bias that balanced rules or tight rules or competitive rules somehow = no fun WAAC. That’s just honestly never the case. Take X-Wing, which is huge at tournaments, and you can easily play a narrative game with it. All you really need is the background and fluff to build from. Or scenarios that create narrative events. It’s not like the official rules have to support it.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            I don’t think any ruleset can prevent it.

            I do think however some create better narrative environments.

            If we take WMH for example. The rules can create great narrative battles, using the tight ruleset to make interesting characters.

            It however suffers from a competitive driven community. There is a lot less room for conversion and flexibility with the rules in the community if we compared it to something like Mordheim or Inquisitor.

            The rules themselves are very functional, but they are tightly balanced, so some units do not feel like their in lore counter parts.

            The giant warjacks, do not feel as powerful as they are in the lore (to make sure the game is enjoyable in competitive play).

            While it is quite possible to play narrative games, is there any rules in the system that you feel encourage you to play narrative play.

            An small example could be: in AoS, the Command traits, where you can either roll or pick (if you want something to fit your hero). It encourages the player to theme their army, and create emergent narratives in their games.

          • ZeeLobby

            Well there you hit the real reason. If you are stuck with a competitive local group, than of course playing to the narrative will be difficult. GW also has a very competitive crowd as well. One store that I stopped visiting was purely competitive. Funnily enough they actually had to shut down as their soul revenue was pretty much 40K and most people left as the rules degenerated.

            None of this has to do with the ruleset though. That’s a community issue, and as AoS picks up in popularity, you’ll probably see large competitive and even WAAC communities form around it as well.

            I’ve also seen some great conversions, at WMH tournaments as well. It just has to be easily identifiable, which is true of most 40K events also. WYSIWYG. But there’s definitely a community of WMH converters out there.

            I mean I’d argue in 40K none of the units fit their lore anyway. I’d actually argue the same for AoS as well. Nagash should decimate armies 20x his points cost if it actually fit the fluff. There’s balancing components in AoS as well, and with the GH it’s actually a much tighter ruleset than Fantasy or 40K has ever been, yet you can still play things narratively.

            And WMH has theme lists, which are hugely narrative. Some are competitive, but most aren’t, and all of them follow some theme from the fluff, usually pretty closely. The biggest difference between WMH theme lists and GW formations, is that the themelists usually have negatives as well as positives, and it defines your whole list, so you can’t pick and choose and glue pieces together. That just makes better game experiences as it still promotes an equal footing.

            I just don’t think there’s as many gaps between the two as you seem to think there are. I’d predict the biggest issue you’ve had is finding non-competitive WMH communities, which can be difficult. But it’s not because of the ruleset, it’s just because that particular game grew from the largely imbalanced GW community (well, and the CEOs of old who basically saw their customers as cattle).

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      be careful, you never know what could give FFG a boner after that 😀

  • ZeeLobby

    Gonna be playing this weekend, pretty pumped.

  • ThorOdinson

    Good job, GW. You gave up on ranked combat fantasy, and what happened? You cleared the way for half-a-dozen competitors to take your place. So rather than that money going to you, it’s now going to Mantic, Fantasy Flight, and whoever else. Well done! >_>

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      I wonder realistically how large the demand is.

      • ZeeLobby

        It’ll definitely be slow. Only having 2 factions at launch, and only 4 by the end of the first year will mean slow adoption. But FFG isn’t struggling to remain profitable, so I’m hoping they’ll give it time to grow before canning it.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          I think its a solid move, but they will have to watch out for mantic.

          You know if it gets popular there will be craptastic ‘Purple skeleton wrym riders’ and ‘4 armed earth sentinels of generika’

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. I don’t think that’s a real concern though. First, you’ll need the cards that come in your faction boxes, and second, unlike GW, Runewars doesn’t look to be all that expensive. Your basically getting 4 character upgrades for the price of one GW blister, 4 calv for about half the price of a 5 calv GW box, etc. And Mantic just raised their prices. I mean there will always be a risk of them losing some sales, but lets be honest, it was never sinking GW anyway. Most of their sales losses were due to poor rules, no community involvement/support and rising prices driving people to other games. Not 3rd party knockoffs. Why they went on an IP rampage was beyond me.

    • wibbling

      Yep, that’s absolutely fine. It’s competition.

      Of course, Workshop gave up on rank and flank because it wasn’t selling. Now, with £6m more in profit thanks to Age of Sigmar, that decision proved correct.

      • ZeeLobby

        Clearly there’s still a massive R&F community though. If GW were smart, they would have created a game system that supported both. Maybe make their 4-page rulebook 8 pages.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Yep give faqs or a Generals Handbook thing to fantasy without needing to do a BRB for a new edition would be fine. Also would be ok if they just… supported and allowed you to keep playing it in their stores.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I guess if everything they do doesn’t directly result in profit it’s not worth continuing to support. Who knows. Just feel like for minimal effort they could have kept those they instead abandoned.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        I dont think AoS was the reason there.My local stores cant give it away, but all these 40k box games and releases sell out before they hit the shelf.

    • surfpenguin

      Yes, but let’s see how many of these games are still being supported five (or even three) years from now…

  • marxlives

    Reviews on this are very solid, especially with fantasy flank in rank being less common. I will probably pick it up to give me a flank and rank to shake up things between it Warmachine (large skirmish chess), Malifaux (small poker skirmish), and Dark Age (d20 small skirmish), and Deadzone (the better side of Nottingham game design). For large “serious” games I will see what happens with my Otherside KS.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    sorry, but theres clearly more work put in between the Dip step and the Done step.

    • Grom The Punch

      There actually isn’t though, it’s just the tone drying on. If your looking to paint skeleton’s really fast, the army painter “tone’s” do most of the work for you. In the video linked below you can see the guy just base coats everything (and sponges on some brown rust, but you get the idea) and the paints on army painter tone:

      Its kind of like inking but much lazier, albeit effective. If your really cheap, supposedly the stuff is the same thing as wood polish.